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Does having too many gear choices negatively affect your playing?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Slideman, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Slideman

    Slideman Member

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    I currently have 6 amps, 9 guitars and an overload of guitar effects. I've noticed that when I start playing any guitar/amp combo, while I'm in the middle of playing, I start wondering, hmmm...should I plug this guitar into a different amp, should I change my guitar and stick with this amp, try a different pedal etc. ...

    Before you know it, I'm not actually really playing anthing (except noodling around), because I'm more focused on all the various combinations of gear that could get me a better tone, and then I realized, I completely wasted valueable time in actually practicing!

    So.... I decided to use only one amp/one guitar/two effects for a period of two weeks....and my playing focus and practice sessions were much more rewarding....so sometimes too many choices, does mean too many distractions.

    Anyone else have the same issue?
     
  2. Janglin_Jack

    Janglin_Jack Member

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    I find it more distracting during practice time. I have multiple amps and guitars and I find I spend time messing aound with finding tones, than practicing. I don't think it is a huge distraction, but I would be better off not spending as much time and money on gear and just focus on being a better player.

    That said, I think finding tones is part of the fun of playing.

    Jack
     
  3. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I have more guitars and amps than I need. But I generally play the same guitar almost every time. Having choices tends to be good. Some guitars are particularly badly suited for some amps, and as long as I avoid those combinations, everything is just ducky. But it's great to have some good choices of what I can use.
     
  4. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

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    I try to practice in a simulated gig environment. I have several different basic setups and then try to maximize the range of sounds, etc. for the music on hand, which can be a random mix of CD's I am unfamiliar with, etc. So in addition to having to quickly discern the key of the song, I have to get sounds from my rig and phrasing that is appropriate for the particular genre of music that pops up. Keeps me on my toes.
     
  5. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, definitely. I think I am at a point where I am good to go for a little while. Our playing season is just starting back up and I just realized I have an amp, cabinet with new speakers, pedals, and two guitars that I haven't really gigged with yet. Time to hunker down and focus. :crazy
     
  6. phantasm

    phantasm Member

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    At one time it did- so i sold all of my effects and got rid of some guitars and amps.
    After all, a guitar plugged straight into a nice tube amp sounds alot better than one candy coated in effects. Less stuff to lug around to gigs too.
     
  7. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    I find I get more out of less. I have 3 electrics and 2 amps. That is my maximum for both. Any more and I get too distracted.

    For guitars i need 1 Fenderish (strat), 1 Gibsonee (SG), 1 hollowbody (Gretsch). For amps I need 1 tight and clear with good light grind (Dr. Z) and 1 clean, warm and swampy with good verb and trem (Ampeg).

    I'd love to have a bigger collection as I used to, but I struggled with too many options and too much maintenance and tinkering, so I pared back and I've never been happier. I feel I know all the subtleties of each piece of gear I own much better than I did with the larger collection.
     
  8. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    I have enough trouble figuring out which 1 of 2 LP's and which 1 of 2 vintage amps to play.
     
  9. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    This is the very reason why I don't have anything that is of the same "type" - here's my current general breakdown:

    Big Amp
    Small Amp
    Rosewood Acoustic
    Hog Acoustic
    12-String Acoustic
    Solidbody
    Hollowbody
    12-String Electric
    Bass

    Sometimes I do feel like one might sound better for the tune than the other, but usually I work that out before playing - or I discover it during the tune, in which case it's nice to have the option to switch. For instance, right now my two 6-string acoustics are both Dreads, and I'm lacking in the smallbody acoustic department. Having a bear of a time trying to figure out how to make that happen right now since it will mean addition by subtraction of current gear.
     
  10. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I currently have 2 working amps. (with 1 is on the bench for educational purposes...)

    I recently sold an amp that was not getting enough playing time, which left me with 1 amp. As a result, that amp is now broken in, (interesting process to observe, btw) and I am much more familiar with the interaction of the controls.

    My other amp has returned from servicing, and somewhat of an overhaul, so it will be #1 for the next couple of weeks. When I am more familiar with it, I will record some clips to A/B the 2 amps. (Both are Dumble inspired)

    I set up my amp in the living room, so that I can play along with some of the excellent backing tracks that have been so generously provided by TGP members. (Big Props, guys!) I can turn up the stereo, and get a better idea of how my rig might sit in a live mix. Each morning I go through a CD of BT's, usually with 1 guitar, so I can dial in my tone for that instrument.

    Too much gear can definitely be a distraction, if you let it. My system keeps me focused on playing with one amp, and one guitar at a time.

    This year is "sell the gear I don't use year". Anything that isn't being played has got to go.
     
  11. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    I'm still trying to get this done too. Maybe a 2-fer, where the bass and 12-string electric go, and one smallbody hog comes back with cash. Yeah, that's the ticket.
     
  12. lukeII

    lukeII Supporting Member

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    Fortunately I am lazy when it comes to changing the guitar I have in my hands or the amp I am playing through just to try a different sonic combo. I may switch a pedal or two but that is about it.

    I change to another guitar (among the one's I have) every 15 days to a month) and on about the same frequency for the amps.
     
  13. Miles

    Miles Member

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    For some, yes, for some, no. For me, YES!!! I find that it's way too distracting. I used to have 5 amps and 8 guitars, and now use 2 electrics with 2 amps, and I'm very content. Both my guitars are very different sounding, and while my amps share similar characterisics they are different enough sounding, different configurations, and it leaves me with a backup amp as I gig out regularly and need a backup plan.

    Some people can own 55 guitars and just have fun.
     
  14. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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  15. Mudder

    Mudder Member

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    I feel having the extra guitars and amps are more inspiring at home, but I limit what I take with me. I mean, there are just times when I don't want to play my ASAT, so I'll pick up something much different and it gets me playing. Same with amps. My DrZ is great, but sometimes I just want to palm mute and chug away so I go with the Engl or Orange.

    Anything that gets me playing is the right call. More options means more enthusiasm.
     

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